As Chairman of Lavastone Properties for the second consecutive year, I am pleased to present the Group’s integrated report for the financial year 2020. Lavastone - as other companies in its industry - has had to face challenges on an unparalleled level, due to the enduring COVID-19 crisis, the lockdown and border closures.
At Lavastone, our priority was the safety of our people, our tenants and their customers. As such, we made sure all sanitary measures were quickly deployed in line with the directives received from the authorities. Overall, our team showed tremendous dedication and commitment throughout the lockdown period, and thereafter working alongside and supporting our tenants. We decided to take a more prudent approach to preserve our cash flow, putting on hold some of our construction projects and delaying others until we have better visibility. We also deferred our interim dividends, while being sensitive of its importance to many shareholders. Given the lack of visibility, this decision was not taken lightly, but the Board felt it was the most appropriate course of action. These initiatives, along with the Group’s performance, were rewarded by the maintenance of our Grade A credit rating from Care Ratings Africa, which allows us to benefit from more attractive interest rates.